swankie tea

steepin' and preachin'


WOW! It’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog here. I have so much that’s been happening. We’re still friends, right? Since last year when I was posting on the blog I have become a tea sommelier. I started, completed, and passed my International Tea Masters Association tea sommelier course! YAY! BUT passing the course means that I have the basics. That I have the start. I know how to steep tea, I know what tea is what. I know tea inside and out, but I still feel like after becoming a tea sommelier I’m only at the beginning of a new journey with a little more knowledge. I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk about my journey. I was so nervous during my training that if I talked about my training it would cause me to end up failing, so I stayed away from talking about it. Now, that I’m done with training. I’m ever so ready to jump my feet into the tea world and into the world that doesn’t know much about tea. I want to share to with everyone. I haven’t found the best way that I want to do that yet. Of course, this blog is a start, but I’m hoping to write a book as well. (yeah, I’m a writing, so naturally.) Anyways, I’m here to do some writing, y’all!


Lipton Tipton

Lipton. Yeah, it’s that tea in the yellow box with the red label. Most people have heard of Lipton. Lipton is a normal tea. Lipton is the tea that restaurants have so they can say that they’ve got hot tea.

Lipton is old. I mean, older than the Model T old. People have been sipping on Lipton for a long long long while now. I’m still pretty young, so I won’t make a big claim to knowing much, but Lipton has been a tea that’s been in my life for a while as well.

I believe the first time I had Lipton I was at an Ihop. I was young. An age of single digits. For some reason I ordered a tea. My parents have always been about speaking up for what you want. I wanted hot tea. I didn’t really know what I was going to get or what the tea would taste like. I was given a cup of hot water and a Lipton tea bag on the side. I felt kind of special having to go through a process to make my drink. My whole family was watching me probably because they knew I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I opened the package, put the bag in the water, waited a while then drank it. I remember looking up at my mom and frowning because of how strong and bitter the taste was. She immediately handed me the sugar tray. I took about 6 or so packets of sugar to make my tea drinkable.

After that I rarely ever had Lipton hot again. I do remember getting it again at a few restaurants forgetting that Lipton was a staple around here and that tea flavors were never really an option.

I hadn’t realized though that all my life I had been having Lipton sweet tea on the farm in South Carolina. That’s the tea my grandma has been using since forever to make her sweet tea. The sugar, the cold, it transformed that tea to something I couldn’t recognize as being Lipton.

Lipton is the first tea that ever made me see two ways to tea. Hot or cold.

As I sip my glass of hot Lipton tea which I buy by the truck loads now because I use it for both hot and cold tea in my house, I think about how it used to taste. It used to be stronger. I drink it hot without sugar now because I like to have the strong flavor, but it isn’t the same from the time I had it at Ihop. It’s different now and even when I have it down south as sweet tea I can taste something different in it. I don’t know what it is, but it’s different.

Lipton to me will always be that normal tea. It’ll be that tea that I will look for when I ask for tea in a restaurant. It will be that tea I make sweet tea with, it’ll be that tea I’ll drink when I want something semi strong, but plain. Hopefully it won’t get any weaker.


Stay steepy!


5 Buck Glass Kettle

I forgot to introduce my new kettle which I used in the latest post. My five dollar glass kettle from World Market. I was in the store and saw it. Immediately I was in love. It was small, cute and a beautiful color. I looked at the price 4.99! I thought to myself a kettle so cheap might not be worth it, but it’s only five dollars!! I left the store and went home to see if there were any reviews…none! So, I went with my gut and my need for all cute tea accessories and bought the kettle.

-steel metal infuser
-hand wash only
-heat resistant plastic handle

I love it. So very cute (:

Stay steepy!



Morning tea text

My mama was in San Francisco last week and stopped into a few tea shops. She brought me back a collection of pu-erh teas. This morning I gave her my first review and I thought it was too funny.


If brown could have a taste it would taste like a pu-erh m. Also, I need the iPhone to stop correcting pu-erh!

My First Tea

I’d like to say I have three first experiences tasting tea and I’ll share two right now with you.

My first experience with tea was in Morocco. I lived in Morocco for two years with my family when I was very little. Still a baby, but there are many things like foods that I remember, very very well.

I don’t know how this tea was made, but I had a mint tea that was sweet. It wasn’t so much that you could taste the sweetness which you could, but you could smell the sweet in the air and the mint. It was so fresh. I was so young, but this memory comes back to me whenever I have mint tea. I think of how it tasted when I had it there.

My second memory that  I remember with more focus is here in America on a cold winter day. My mother made peppermint tea. It was Celestial Seasoning, no big surprise there. That was the first tea I had tried and I remember that I put a lot of sugar in it as any kid would. Until about 5 years ago, Peppermint tea was the only tea that I had hot.


Of course these are all HERBAL teas.

Stay steepy!


I recently purchased the best infuser mug. I would call this a tumbler, but people don’t recognize that term with travel mugs much. This is amazing because 1. You can infuser tea then lift the tea out of the water 2. You can reuse tea easily 3. You can microwave (I never microwave tea, but to each their own) 4. It’s so awesome



Muggin’ Monday #1

This is my first mug ever that was solely mine. There had been other mugs that my mother had from her past and other mugs she had received as gifts that we used as a family, but I never had one that was mine alone.

It was given to me by my best friend in third grade. We are no longer best friends and I hadn’t used it at all during our friendship which might be weird, but to me I never wanted to mess it up. My grandmother came to visit one summer and reach into the back of the cabinet where I kept it and used it. I was very upset that she was the first one to use that mug. I realized later that there wasn’t any magic in the mug and that it didn’t matter who used it first.

I’ve had the mug for thirteen years, it’s quite stained now, but it’s still going strong.


Hand tied teas

I’m absolutely in love with hand tied teas. I think they are extremely pretty to look at and give something extra to the tea experience. The first hand tied tea I had was the jasmine butterfly which is named butterfly because the way it’s tied. When you infuse this tea the leaves flow out like a butterfly. That’s so damn beautiful! Like a poem or something, but anyways I have also seen the blossom tea. The blossom teas are gorgeous. They bloom into a flower. I can’t seem to find how they are made. I thought with the Internet these days someone would have a video of someone making them! (If you find one, link me to it) but maybe it’s a hidden secret.

Capital Tea Samplers

Signature Blend Sampler

Annapolis Treasures


  • Photo Aug 21, 3 54 19 PMGreen tea, black tea, rose blossoms, sunflower blossoms, natural flavoring

Chesapeake Sunrise

  • Photo Aug 21, 3 54 31 PMGreen tea, black tea, orange peel, jackfruit, almond

Sailor’s Delight

  • Photo Aug 21, 3 54 38 PMGreen tea, black tea, strawberry, papaya

Connoisseur Tea Sampler

Glenburn Darjeeling STGFOP1

  • Photo Aug 21, 3 55 31 PMFirst flush Darjeeling STGFOP

Madame Butterfly Jasmine (My favorite)

  • Photo Aug 21, 3 55 37 PMChinese hand-tied Green Tea infused with jasmine blossoms

Milk Oolong

  • Rare and exotic varietal of Oolong teaPhoto Aug 21, 3 55 42 PM

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